Saturday, 15 June 2013

IAFL-1 Preview

So the Shamrock Bowl Conference gets a rest this weekend as they gear up for the Wildcard Playoff matches but the competitive IAFL-1 still sees some action!

Photo by Ariane Boudias
Waterford Wolves vs. Meath Bulldogs
The Waterford Wolves welcome the Meath Bulldogs in probably the most competitive game on paper so far this year. The Bulldogs have hit a rich vein of form after a rocky start, knocking off tough competition in the form of the Drogheda Lightning and Tullamore Phoenix in their last two games.

But that was in the comfort of their own home ground. What happens when you send a Bulldog into a Wolf Den? Waterford have had a strong fan following this year, home and away, no doubt thanks to their excellent off field media coverage.

And their on field play has been decent too, with three wins from four keeping them second in the League. However the match against Meath will be a tough one. The Bulldogs have outscored everybody in the League, except the leading Reapers, on average this year and have the third best defence in the IAFL-1 too. Coach Garland Drake has them firing on all cylinders at the minute and they'll be a tough opposition to stop.

Brothers Eddie and Pete McMahon, quarterback and running back respectively, have formed a high octane partnership at the head of the Meath offence but this Waterford defence is strong too.

This will be a great game to watch, especially at the Wolves' impressive home ground. 

Drogheda Lightning vs. Dublin Dragons
The Drogheda Lightning welcome their Head Coaches' former team to St. Olivers as they look to turn around a two game losing streak.

Coach Russell Kerley will want to put a halt to that tomorrow, as well as get one over on his old team, whilst the Dragons will want to continue where they left off, after the 14-2 win over Waterford three weeks ago.

On paper it's a tight one. The Lightning stand with a 1-2-1 record to the Dragons' 2-2 but the home team have outscored the away team on average, 9.5 points per game as opposed to 7. In fact Drogheda have the third best scoring average in the IAFL-1, behind only the high flying Reapers and Bulldogs.

However their defence is second worst, only to bottom placed Mullingar, as they have so far shipped 13 points per game on average. Dublin on the other hand have the best defensive record in the division, conceding only 4.75 points per game.

The Lightning are a young team with an average age of just 23, indeed several of their players, including lead scoring quarterback Dan Finnamore, have recently been sitting A-Levels (best of luck with those guys). They have a lot of potential in years to come as a team unit. However the Dragons have the experience and a rock solid defence and will more than likely enter this game as slight favourites.

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